Every Good Use is in Form a Man

Selection from On Divine Love and Wisdom ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

So far as man is in the love of use, so far is he in the Lord, so far he loves the Lord and loves the neighbor, and so far he is a man.

From the love of uses we are taught what is meant by loving the Lord and loving the neighbor, also what is meant by being in the Lord and being a man.

  • To love the Lord means to do uses from Him and for His sake.
  • To love the neighbor means to do uses to the church, to one’s country, to human society and to the fellow-citizen.
  • To be in the Lord means to be a use.
  • And to be a man means to perform uses to the neighbor from the Lord for the Lord’s sake.

To love the Lord means to do uses from Him and for His sake, for the reason that all the good uses that man does are from the Lord; good uses are goods, and it is well known that these are from the Lord. Loving these is doing them, for what a man loves he does.

No one can love the Lord in any other way; for uses, which are goods, are from the Lord, and consequently are Divine; yea they are the Lord Himself with man. These are the things that the Lord can love.


The Lord cannot be conjoined by love to any man, and consequently cannot enable man to love Him, except through His own Divine things; for man from himself cannot love the Lord; the Lord Himself must draw him and conjoin him to Himself;

Therefore loving the Lord as a Person, and not loving uses, is loving the Lord from oneself, which is not loving.

He that performs uses or goods from the Lord performs them also for the Lord’s sake.

These things may be illustrated by the celestial love in which the angels of the third heaven are. These angels are in love to the Lord more than the angels in the other heavens are; and they have no idea that loving the Lord is anything else than doing goods which are uses, and they say that uses are the Lord with them. By uses they understand the uses and good works of ministry, administration, and employment, as well with priests and magistrates as with merchants and workmen; the good works that are not connected with their occupation they do not call uses; they call them alms, benefactions, and gratuities.


Loving the neighbor means performing uses to the church, one’s country, society, and the fellow-citizen, because these are the neighbor in the broad and in the limited sense; neither can these be loved otherwise than by the uses that belong to each one’s office.

  • A priest loves the church, the country, society, the citizen, and thus the neighbor, if he teaches and leads his hearers from zeal for their salvation.
  • Magistrates and officers love the church, the country, society, the citizen, and thus the neighbor, if they discharge their respective functions from zeal for the common good.
  • Judges, if from zeal for justice.
  • Merchants, if from zeal for sincerity.
  • Workmen, if from rectitude; servants, if from faithfulness; and so forth.

When with all these there is faithfulness, rectitude, sincerity, justice, and zeal, there is the love, of use from the Lord; and from Him they have love to the neighbor in the broad and in the limited sense; for who that in heart is faithful, upright, sincere and just, does not love the church, the country, and his fellow-citizen?

From what has now been said it is plain that loving the Lord is performing uses from Him, and loving the neighbor is performing uses to him, and the object on account of whom uses are performed is the neighbor, use, and the Lord; and that love thus returns to Him from whom it is.

For every love as source through love for its object returns to love as source, which return constitutes its reciprocal.

And love continually goes forth and returns through deeds, which are uses, since to love is to do.

For love, unless it becomes deed, ceases to be love, since deed is the effect of love’s end, and is that in which it exists.

So far as man is in the love of use so far is he in the Lord; because so far is he in the Church, and so far in heaven; and the church and heaven from the Lord are as one man; the forms of which (called higher or lower organic forms, also interior and exterior) are made up of all who love uses by doing them; and the uses themselves are what compose that Man, because it is a spiritual Man, that does not consist of persons, but of the uses with them. Yet all those are there who receive from the Lord the love of uses; and these are they who do them for the neighbor’s sake, for use’s sake, and for the Lord’s sake; and since this Man is the Divine that proceeds from the Lord, and the Divine proceeding is the Lord in the church and in heaven, it follows that they all are in the Lord.

These are a Man, because every use that in any way promotes the general good or serves the public, is a man, beautiful and perfect according to the quality of the use, and at the same time the quality of its affection.  The reason of this is, that in each single part of the human body there is, from its use, an idea of the whole; for the part looks to the whole as its source, and the whole sees the part in itself, as its agent. It is from this idea of the whole in each part that each use therein is a man, in small as well as in greater parts; there are organic forms in the part as well as in the whole; in fact, the parts of parts, which are interior, are men more than the composite parts, because all perfection increases toward the interiors.  For all organic forms in man are composed of interior forms, and these of forms still more interior, even to inmosts, by means of which communication is given with every affection and thought of man’s mind.

For man’s mind, in all its particulars, extends into all things of his body; its range is into all things of the body; for it is the very form of life.

Unless the mind had such a field, there would be neither mind nor man.

From this it is that the choice and decision of man’s will are determined instantly, and produce and determine actions, just as if thought and will were themselves in the things of the body, and not above them.  That every least thing in man, from its use, is a man, does not fall into the natural idea as it does into the spiritual; in the spiritual idea man is not a person, but a use; for the spiritual idea is apart from an idea of person, as it is apart from an idea of matter, space, and time; therefore when one sees another in heaven, he sees him indeed as a man, but he thinks of him as a use.  An angel also appears in face according to the use in which he is, and affection for the use makes the life of the face. From all this it can be seen that every good use is in form a man.

(Divine Love XIII)
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About mike

Finding out that the Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race the angelic heaven would be formed, my entire focus on life changed. The reason for my creation was to perform Divine uses - The Divine Providence looks to eternal ends. My gain, honor or reputation no longer could be the focal point of what drives the engine. One day I will lay aside this material body and will wake up in the spiritual world never to return; there will be a continuation of life, and my ruling love will be what guides me to my final situation. 'Where a tree falls, there will it lay' (Ecc 11:3) We only have a few years in these bodies compared to eternity. What is fossilized on our souls in this short period is important to how we spend eternity. We are not left to blind faith, The Lord has come in His Word to reveal rationally how we can be made 'a vessel of honor, able for the master's use.' I truly hope the post create a thirst. If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to email me. --Mike
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